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50 Delicious Foods to Eat With Braces During the Holidays

By November 17, 2020November 23rd, 2020Orthodontics
Girl with braces eating donut

It’s hard to believe the holidays are nearly here. We know, regardless of what you celebrate, a big part of the festivities will involve food. If you’re one of our Omaha braces patients, you might be wondering, “What can I eat with braces this holiday season?” Well, have no fear, because while, yes, you will have to make a few adjustments, there are plenty of braces-friendly holiday foods you can eat with abandon. In fact, we’re sharing 50 delicious options!

Eating With Braces

Before we get into the holiday foods to eat with braces, let’s have a quick refresher of eating with braces in general since this will help you make confident decisions when you sit down to enjoy a holiday meal. When you first get your braces put on and sometimes following adjustments, your teeth can be a little sensitive. Any tenderness is mild and will go away in a few days. However, during this time, enjoying soft foods, as well as cold foods and drinks, can be helpful. Mashed potatoes, smoothies, protein shakes, yogurt, applesauce, soup, ice cream and pudding are all great examples of foods to eat with braces the first week of treatment or any time your teeth are sensitive. 

Once you’re ready to tackle your normal diet again, keep in mind the basics of how to eat with braces. Never bite directly into foods with your front teeth. Instead, cut or break food into small pieces and chew with your back teeth. 

While most things will still be on the menu, there are a few foods to avoid with braces because they can damage your appliance. The foods you can’t eat with braces include:

  • Really hard foods, such as nuts, unpopped popcorn kernels and pizza crust
  • Extra chewy foods like hard bagels and beef jerky
  • Sticky foods, including caramel, taffy and gummy candies
  • Foods you bite into like whole, raw apples and carrots, corn on the cob and meat on the bone (you can, however, take corn off the cob and meat off the bone and cut carrots and apples into small, thin slices)

The Common Holiday Foods to Avoid With Braces

As we said, it’s less about what to eat with braces and more about how to eat with braces (i.e., cutting things into tiny pieces and chewing with those back teeth), so while there are a few common holiday foods to avoid with braces, you can still eat many by adjusting your technique. These are the holidays foods you shouldn’t eat with braces, at least unmodified:

  • Turkey legs and other meat on the bone (again, off the bone is perfectly fine!)
  • Nuts and food with nuts in it
  • Pecan pie 
  • Raw carrots and other really hard veggies
  • Caramel apples or candy apples
  • Hard gingerbread cookies
  • Hard candy like candy canes
  • Toffee and other sticky or very chewy candy

50 Braces-Friendly Holiday Foods

Now, on to the good news! Here are 50 delicious foods you can eat with braces this holiday season:

  1. Turkey (tender and taken off the bone)
  2. Ham
  3. Fork-tender beef like brisket, roast beef or pot roast
  4. Lamb (tender and off the bone)
  5. Chicken (tender and off the bone)
  6. Meatloaf
  7. Salmon and other soft-cooked fish and seafood
  8. Meat alternatives like Tofurkey
  9. Cooked lentils
  10. Mashed potatoes and mashed sweet potatoes
  11. Roasted or baked potatoes, sweet potatoes or yams
  12. Sweet potato casserole 
  13. Roasted, steamed or cooked vegetables (e.g., brussels sprouts, collard greens, turnips, green beans, spinach, carrots, etc.)
  14. Corn off the cob
  15. Creamed corn
  16. Creamed spinach
  17. Succotash
  18. Green bean casserole (without almonds)
  19. Cranberry sauce
  20. Latkes
  21. Au gratin potatoes
  22. Macaroni and cheese
  23. Lasagna
  24. Soup
  25. Stuffing without nuts
  26. Pierogies
  27. Quiche
  28. Spoon bread
  29. Biscuits 
  30. Soft rolls
  31. Cornbread
  32. Challah bread
  33. Rice
  34. Barley and other cooked grains
  35. Soft cheeses
  36. Spinach and artichoke dip
  37. Hummus
  38. Brownies without nuts
  39. Cake
  40. Pumpkin pie
  41. Apple pie and other fruit pies
  42. Cream pies
  43. Ice cream
  44. Soft-baked cookies, including soft gingerbread cookies
  45. Plain chocolate, such as Hershey’s bars and Hershey’s Kisses 
  46. Pudding
  47. Donuts
  48. Apple cider
  49. Eggnog
  50. Hot chocolate

Of course, that’s not a complete list of foods to eat with braces during the holidays, but it’s a great starting point to give you some ideas. If perfecting your smile is also on the holiday agenda this year, schedule a complimentary in-person or virtual consultation at Hawley Orthodontics. We hope everyone has a happy (and delicious) holiday season!

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